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Bob Woodward 8, Chris Christie 5, Christie 5, Africa 4, Cardinals 4, Washington 3, Vatican 3, Europe 3, Latin America 3, Colin Goddard 3, America 3, Benedict 3, New York 2, Celebrex 2, Unitedhealthcare 2, Geico 2, Medicare 2, Nra 2, Ford 2, Msnbc 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    February 28, 2013
    9:00 - 9:59am PST  

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♪ wireless is limitless. pope benedict is shedding the ruby loafers to begin a life of prayer, while lawmakers in washington are praying that tomorrow doesn't sink them from the polls. it's thursday, february 28th, and this is "now." joining me today staff writer for "the new yorker," msnbc political sxlois former dnc communications director the always classy karen finney. i'm going to have to do this for everyone now. msnbc political analyst and executive editor of msnbc.com, our favorite import from the united kingdom, richard wolf, and from bloomberg business week -- look at the corps there -- senior national
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correspondent josh green. just minutes ago the world saw pope benedict appear for the last time as head of the catholic church. the pope took a short helicopter trip from st. peters basilica to castle gondolpho, a hilltop villa. two hours from now the swiss guard will leave their posts, and benedict will cease to be pontiff. benedict announced his title will be pope ameritus and said he will not return to private life. the last pope to abdicate, 719 years ago, had a much rockier departure. he was imprisoned until his death and is thought to be depicted in daunty's inferno as a cowardly shadow in hell. >> preparations are completed at an 8,000 square foot monastery near st. peters. for the catholic church and the within in seven people worldwide who are members of it, the
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attention now turns to their next leader, namely who will he be and perhaps of equal importance, where will he come from? the past century has shown dramatic changes in the worldwide catholic population. while 65% of the catholic population lived in europe in 1910, that figure has now dropped to 24%, and as the number of catholics actually sh links in europe each year, it is growing rapidly in other parts of the world. the largest share of catholics, 39%, now live in latin america, and in the last century catholic simple in africa has grown dramatically. less than 1% of the church's worldwide membership to 16% in the past eight years alone. sorry. in the past at years alone the number of catholics in africa has spiked 21%, so if the balance is shifting, will the church? it has been 1,500 years since the church had a pope from africa, and there has never been a black pope. in the upcoming conclave there will be two candidates who might
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fill the bill ghana's peter turkson and -- there is also speculation about at least five latin american candidates, three of whom come from brazil. joining us now on pope watch from washington is msnbc contributor washington post columnist and senior fellow of governance studies at the brookings institute, the very accomplished and very wonderful e.j. deon. e.j., it's great to have you on the show. >> great to be with you. i love your prayerful beginning of this show. it was very appropriate to both the conclave and the sequester. >> well, yes. we're trying to tie it all up with a bow. even at the start of the show. e.j., i just read some stats that i think are actually pretty compelling as far as the face -- the face of the faith, if you will, in the 21st century. as someone who follows the vatican and the goings on m vatican very closely, i wonder what you think the likelihood is that the cardinals will choose someone who is not from europe to be the head of the church? >> i have to say i still think
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the odds are against it. partly if you look at the make-up of the college of cardinals, it's still the case that italians loom as the largest single group. it is possible, however, that something interesting could happen. especially if the cardinals of the third world get together and say wait a minute. rome has to pay attention to us. i was talking to somebody who is very -- spent a lot of time in the vatican who made the point that a lot of times the cardinals of the third world feel that they are forgotten as part of this operation, that their views don't get the say they should get, but it's also the case that a lot of the differences of opinion in the church are not along regional lines. just to complicate the picture further. the -- there is also -- the catholic church is also growing in asia. it would be fascinating the archbishop of mumbai is an
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interesting person that you cannot rule out that possibility. i think the betting is still this is a very traditional institution, that it may take another round before we go to africa or latin america. >> i don't mean to drop parallels where they don't exist, but we're talking about a group of people. the demographic is changing. there's sort of old hard-liners at the center. there is a sense of gerrymandering in terms of power. i will point out many terms of the power of cardinals, europe makes up 24% of catholics, but 52% of all the cardinals. latin america makes up 39% of catholics, but 16% of the cardinals. africa, 16% of the catholics, but only 9% of the cardinals. i see parallels here, and stop me if i'm wrong, e.j., to something like the republican party where change is of the essence. it's the order of the day, but there is a question about whether the church can reform itself, and we haven't talked about the scandal that is have plagued the church in recent
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years, but can the institution police -- not only police itself, but really reform itself, and i always go back to this example of, you know, birth control. 98% of catholics in america are apparently using birth control, and, yet, the church has a very hard line position on contraception. catholics seem to just let that go by and say i -- catholics in the u.s., catholics that i speak to, i was raised catholic, think that, well, that's just sort of par for the course. do you think that reform is on the horizon for the church in any sense of the word? >> well, first of all, i don't think you should feel anti-catholic for making that comparison with the republican party. i was talking a couple of weeks ago to an important bishop here in the u.s. who made the same alan judging who said we, the catholic church -- we in the catholic church have to think about the extent to which we are growing out of touch with some of our membership. we have to be open to reform. having said that, i think when
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you look at the very nature of the college of cardinals, i mean, this is in the technical sense of the term a kind of self-perpetuating leadership. virtually all these cardinals who are picked either by pope benedict or by pope john paul, i believe, somebody correct me if i'm wrong, the average age is somewhere in the 70s, low 70s. there aren't if to really drive your metaphor into the ground, a lot of blue state sort of cardinals in that list, and so there are not a lot of obviously progressive candidates on the list of potential popes. i don't think progressive conservative, however, is the right optic. i think the real question is when you get someone elected who actually is open to change and dialogue on some of these issues, on the all male celibate priesthood, if not on women priests. birth control is kind of a separate issue. the church ares until this contraception fight over the obama plan, really hasn't
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preached very much about it. it's not only the faithful who let it go. it's really the church itself who sort of accept that. there just aren't a lot of catholic families of 12 kids anymore in most of the west, and increasingly, not in the third world either. >> e.j., i want to bring in our panel here in new york, and before we started this segment, i was doing a little pop quiz with you guys about the average age of priests in the catholic church, and we talk about demographic concerns, but this would seem to be one. e.j. points out the age of the cardinals. if you look at the average age of u.s. catholic preesz, in 1970 that age, rick, was 35 years old. in 2009 it is 63 years old. i mean, i would love to know what your analysis for that is. do you think that faith plays less of an important role in younger generations? do you think that catholic church has been less than forthcoming in terms of updating its messaging in recent years? i mean, that to me is shocking. effectively, it means the people
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who were joining in 1970 are literally the same people who are joining the priesthood today. >> are you talking to me, alex? >> i'm actually talking to rick, but i will come back to you in one second. >> rick would be an excellent pope. he is very deeply embedded in catholic theology, your watchers should know. go ahead, rick. >> yeah, the -- that statistic you mentioned is really significant. the church -- it's the same people. it's the same people moved up, and there are more and more, at least in the west -- there are more and more people like you. people who say i was raised catholic. people who say i'm a cafeteria catholic. people who have an emotional attachment to the church kind of and a sense of identity about the church, but who increasingly reject either angrily or just understandingly a lot of these positions. i think the problem that the
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cardinal electors face now is if they go the third world route, the problem there is that most of these third world cardinals are more conservative than the european ones. they could go for expanding the catholic church in the third world as constrict it in the first world. >> he says a recent poll in germany shows 85% of catholics are in favor of letting priests marry. 79 are in favor of letting divorced persons remarry in the church. 75% of are favor of ordaining women." that's crazy germany. who knows if it's the same here or globally? there seems to be a real push for some kind of changes here, the orthodoxed. >> i think at the heart of it the question -- and i do think this holds up with your analogy. i consider myself a berkeley catholic, which was much more about the social doctrine and our values and a lot less about
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birth control and some of those other things, but, you know, how do you live your life -- how do you care for those, you know, less fortunate? people are increasingly feeling that it's not relevant to the challenges that people are face, to the reality of how people are living their lives. as you were saying with regard to birth control, it's sort of like a wink-wink that 98% of catholic women in america have used birth control. consider themselves catholic, but, hey, we're not going to talk about it. those statistics point out that, you know, the faithful, the nature of the faithful is change, and what we need and want from the church is changing, and i don't -- i think the problem is that the people who are -- it's the same people, so how can the same voices and faces make that change. >> go ahead, josh.
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>> the cardinals that will be making these decisions are conservatives, in that they were very concerned about the secularization of european culture, but their answer to that was ratzinger. i don't think this should be a presumption that they're going to move in a more liberal modern direction just because of these demographic shifts that you're talking about. >> e.j. brshgs we let you go, why is there not more of a constituent outcry in terms of these politics? i mean, i think it's almost painful to catholics when you talk about, as karen said, berkeley catholics, progressive catholics. i have plenty of family members who are progressive catholics. this notion that much of the fabric of the catholic church is woven around the idea of community, helping the poor. there is some fairly radical leftist ideology in certain wings of the catholic church, but that has not been given a voice. there are certainly catholics who practice catholic simple who are democrats, who are progressives, and, yet, they seem to not take a role in
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participating whether on the local level or national or global. what is that? >> i think on the priest question what you have seen is a sharp change in the culture where people in the catholic church who are willing to give their lives to celibacy once aren't willing to do that in the new culture, and also you have much smaller catholic families. it used to be, you know, we give one to the church, one to the military, one to politics. you don't have 11 kids anymore. >> the kennedy plan. >> yes. i think that's just a real sociological fact. those that are still practicing are still there. what you have seen is the leadership of the church because of papal appointments has become significantly more conservative than it was even 25 years ago in the 1980s. the american bishops put out very progressive documents on economic justice and on war and peace and nuclear war. the catholic church took a
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decided shift in being more open to the modern world in vatican two, and we've had a big argument since then about whether we should continue this openness that vatican two represented. i think on the conservative side what you've had is a all that's solid melts into air kind of reaction where the conservatives say, you know, you don't know where the church is anymore. there was a lot of wild experimentation. let's pull things in just so we can clarify what is catholic. the problem with that is that there are plenty of catholics out there who have simply left, who are drawn to god, to -- are drawn to gees christ, are drawn to the church's progressive social vision, but don't see it reflected. i think ex-catholics are the third largest denomination in the united states, if you counted them as a denomination. i think that that is the debate to have.
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how much do you need to create solid catholic identity? that's the conservative view. how much do we need to remain open to the world and to madernity? the holy spirit surprises, so who knows what the next pope is actually going to be like? john, the 23rd, surprised people a long time al. >> you never really do know with the holy spirit. thank you, as always, for your expertise, my friend. >> it's great to be with you. >> it doesn't quite have the same ring as word and bernstein, but sperling and woodward has the beltway buzzing. we will delve into the latest scandal next on "now." [ jackie ] it's just so frustrating... ♪ the middle of this special moment and i need to run off to the bathroom. ♪ i'm fed up with always having to put my bladder's needs
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the latest battle over the sequester. bob woodward over the white house. it began with an woodward op ed saying the president had moved the goal posts in the sequester battle. woodward then revealed that a bhous official, later identified as economic advisor gene sperling said he would regret wrying the article. in an e-mail dated last friday sperling writes i apologized for raising my voice in our conversation today. my bad. i do understand your problems with the couple of our statements in the fall, but feel, on the other hand, that you focus on a few specific trees that give a very wrong perception of the forest. perhaps we will not see eye to eye here, but i do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying that the potus asking for revenues is moving the goal posts. as a friend i think you will regret staking out that claim. >> i read that e-mail, and it
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seemed fairly benign. bob woodward is saying he felt threatened about it. >> he felt threatened. >> gene sperling is about this high, and he starts out -- he starts out -- he starts out -- right. he starts out his threatening e-mail by apologizing profusely. >> and saying my bad. >> not very good a threat. i have been on the receiving end of threatening phone calls from various white houses. they don't sound like that. >> they don't say my bad. >> the biggest problem for bob woodward, and obviously he has a great body of work behind him, and that brings him a lot of respect, but he is making himself look foolish. he is hyping up this e-mail, which hurts his credibility. he has got the wrong end of the stick about the sequester. the sequester wasn't the goal of the policy. it was a means to an end. he should be able to figure that out. on top of that, he, of all people, as meticulous as he is, should know that the phrase moving the goal posts was exactly how the republican leadership characterized the president when it came to the
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big deal, the grand bargain, so him echoing that phrase in this context suggests that he buys into their account of the whole narrative. he knows what he is doing. bob is a master strategist, take tigs with his own reporting. it feels to me like he is playing another game. i believe it was mostly the romney campaign that i used in in and around, but the republicans have built their own wald of -- in my humble opinion, regarding the blame game on whose idea the sequester was. the woodward piece has really furthered that narrative. i can't say how many times it was sent to me by republican he operatives with see, we told you so. it's weird to me. it's almost beside the point in terms of the larger battle over the sequester. >> what's weird is, first of all, regardless of whose idea it was.
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both parties signed off on it, passed into law. it wouldn't be a law if the house republicans hadn't passed it. part of what's strange is that woodward is playing two roles. the reporter who reports in his book on the exchange and how the sequester came about being and then in this op ed is this analyst shaming obama for not leading in some vague way that would defense congressional republicans to solve the deficit problem, and it's sort of bizarre to go on both sides of that at the same time. >> can we take half a step back and remember that the week before this happened he was on "fox news," and he was scolding karl rove, and then i saw plenty of reports that said the liberal bob woodward, right, and then this op ed comes out, and it almost -- it read like somebody picked up the phone and called them and, you know, walked them through the talking points, and he bought in and wrote this piece. i think in terms of the -- to richard's point, this dynamic of what's actually -- take the sequester out of it. what is going on with bob woodward, typically because of his response to sperling who was somebody who was at the table in the room. he is basically saying to him, well, i have talked to other
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people, so you -- that may be your impression of what happened, but i talked to other people. well, then you should represent that in your piece. >> but, rick, this is also, again -- if you were a journalist and trying to talk about the -- woodward has said i think it's important to pinpoint where this idea came from because the country is going to feel a lot of economic pain, and we have to understand whose idea it was in the first place. the sequester was a stop gap measure that nobody liked that republicans voted for. >> part of the reason we're not coming to the table is because we don't really see -- cuts are cuts are cuts. i will pair phrase conservative blogger who is on ben dom mick who is on with ezra cline on the last word on monday, and he says the problem with that -- you have an assumption of confidence on the part of conservatives. of the conservative base republicans as a whole. when it comes time to negotiate with the white house that
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they'll come out with any kind of better deal. they don't think they're going to get a better deal, so they're not at the bargaining table. >> most of them don't have any real incentive to make a better deal. they're behaving rationally as individuals. each of those of a great majority of the republican caucus are not going to lose their election because they didn't compromise. yes, the people who are polled even in their districts say, oh, we like compromise. we want balance. we want this. we want that. they're not going lose their seat over it. the only way they're going to lose their seat is if they vote for some tiny little increase on zillionares' taxes and then they'll get killed by the club for growth and super pacts and will be primaried out of existence. they're not behaving irrationally. they're just behaving in a way that's deeply inconsistent with the public interests. the public interest doesn't have a pact. >> let me ask you something. in terms of optics, there is a question i think about how this plays out on march 1st, march
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2nd, march 3rd, and some people are saying the president has very much been on the campaign trail. he may get some blowback for this, but based on the fact that he isn't making the outreach, however futile it may be, to those on the hill. get -- does getting involved with this on the bob woodward thing, is that a distraction? does this undermine their case that they are serious about averting the sequester cuts? >> well, they do have to walk and chew gum at the same time. i think it's perfectly possible given the gazillions of press people in the white house that they can actually go to battle with bob woodward and also engage in this broader campaign. >> this is a bit like the israeli-palestinian conflict. this is the prepositioning before you get to the
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negotiating table. both sides are trying to figure out how they can increase the pressure, so the republicans have a new website and the president has air force one and a lot of command of the media. he gets cameras in the local media markets. that's not a small thing. this story is going to be played out in these local markets where people are going to be furloughed. i see reports as saying, oh, they're exaggerating. they're getting ahead of the game. well, yeah, people are not being furloughed today, but they will be at some point in the next several months. the white house is perfectly reasonably out there saying this is going to happen unless something changes. >> so, karen, does that mean we know that the president is having a bipart sfwlan meeting with leadership snoem everyone is saying, okay, you're having it as a sequester cut begins. it begins at 11:59 tomorrow. we'll bring you coverage of that. but will he be -- now is the time for meetings. it begins on friday in the next three weeks we'll see more of
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the ebbing changes between capitol hill and the white house. >> it had a little bit of the feeling of let's just give cover to everybody here that we came together on the last day and we tried and we just couldn't make it happen. >> the first day of the rest of you are on lives. >> i thits possible, though, that what ends up happening is then the drama then shifts to the weekend, and to whether or not we can actually get something done. i mean, part of the problem on the messaging side of this is, you know, now they're backing off a little bit from the idea that this is -- this catastrophe, so it's a catastrophe. it's not a catastrophe. which is it? we're a couple of days away. we just love to know. >> with the weekend comes new ink from bob woodward. i'm sure we'll have plenty to talk about. the house has finally exclamation point voted on the violence against women act. which version of the legislation will actually appear on president obama's desk? we'll give you the details just ahead.
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>> two and a half months out of newtown has the country moved any closer to gun safety? the signals are mixed. reform advocates won a victory in illinois's second district this week when robin kelly, with a $2 million assist from michael bloomberg, triumphed over a democratic primary opponent with an a rating from the nra. yesterday bloomberg commented on the result after a white house meeting with vice president biden. >> is it a harbinger of things to come? i think so. this is the public speaking. i suppose congressman-elect -- not quite, but when she's elect
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kelly will be -- she deserves a lot of credit, but it's the public that's the winner here. >> speaking to the nation's attorneys general, joe biden weighed in. >> the public mood has changed. the excuse that is too politically risky to act is no longer acceptable. >> but congressional republicans have yet to get swept up in the reform movement. at a senate hearing yesterday on the assault weapons ban, the parent of a child killed in newtown made an emotional appeal for comprehensive reform. >> mental health issues, better background checks, bans on these weapons, bans on high capacity magazines. they all have to come together and they all have to work effectively. >> the hearing was also dominated by republicans who made it clear that the assault weapons ban, which stood as law of the land for ten years, has no chance of revival in the
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current congress. >> we should target our efforts to violent criminals, to those who commit horrific crimes of violence, and we should not target our efforts to needlessly restricting the constitutional liberties of law-abiding citizens. >> such arbitrary distinctions and the fact that these weapons are commonly used for self-defense raise constitutional questions under the second amendment. >> it will be a bid for lawmakers to work on a universal background check bill, which is now seen as the pinnacle of what this congress can accomplish. joining us now from washington is virginia tech shooting suburb vooifr and assistant director of federal legislation at the brady campaign, colin goddard. it's always great to see you. sfa thank you for having me, alex. >> colin, i don't think this is a glass half full, glass half empty sort of situation, but i do need to ask you, when this -- when newtown first happened, there was a real sense that time was of the essence. we're now entering into march.
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there is a week delay between now and when the senate will take up some of the legislation in a practical matter. already the assault weapons ban seems like a nonstarter. we're not even talking about high capacity magazines. sorry. the assault -- and not the -- the assault weapons ban is expected to fail. high capacity magazines are not part of the question, and now it's universal background checks, but there's still an argument over how feasible that is. have we lost some of the momentum here? >> absolutely not. we've actually gained a great deal of momentum in the past two months. i mean, it's been incredible the amount of new people that have come to the brady campaign, new activist that is have talked about gun violence prevention. we've had so many new capitol hill office that is were never speaking with us before that we're now in conversation with, that they're now finding areas of common agreement. i think you hit the nail on the head. i think that's something so commonsense to every member of congress that we talk to. we also talk about finally creating a federal statute against gun trafficking. we don't have anything like that on the federal laws right now. i think there are multiple
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areas. the president put forth a comprehensive package that, yeah, one specific part of it might want pass many this current congress, but there are multiple congresss, as the brady bill and assault weapons ban took from last time. took how long it took for that. this is a long process. to think if we don't get this done in the next few weeks that the window has closed is ridiculous. >> less i be painted az redick husband pessimist, we are seeing change at the state level. bloomberg has established himself as a powerhouse on this issue. >> bias is declared zoosh bias declared. at the end of the day there is now some question about how democrats are going to go on this issue, whether they do, in fact, want to be in the pocket of the nra. >> i think it's clear that they're moving away from the nra, and two things are going on. one are these outside efforts like bloomberg's that have been given momentum and attention buzz the newtown shooting. i think the other thing to look at, though, is you have democratic governors and
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presidential hopefuls for 2016, like andrew cuomo in new york, like martin o'malley in maryland that are pushing much stricter gun laws than anything you've seen at the federal level. it's almost become a litmus test issue for democrats. as you look ahead a few years and look at the groups and the emerging democratic coalition, young people, minorities, suburban white women, all of these people are very much in favor of stronger gun controls. i think that bodes well over the long-term, if not for this congress. >> it's almost -- it's almost, rick, like gay marriage insofar as attitudes changed within a ten-year span fairly quickly on the subject of unions between a man and a man and a woman and a woman. these are cultural changes, societial changes, to some degree economic changes. perhaps we will see in the next decade similar changes on gun laws and attitudes towards guns. >> we might, but the attitudes over the last 20 years, 30 years have changed in the other direction quite profoundly, and the democratic party essentially
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gave up on gun control for a long, long time. even barney frank said let's not -- let's not crash our ship against this particular rock. so there's a long, long, long way to go. it's a little like the sequester too. you've just got a lot of people many there who, for whom the national mood is irrelevant. >> colin, i want to ask you, in terms of this issue being something that voters go to the polls on, i mean, how optimistic are you about someone's position on gun control, gun safety laws being an issue in 2014. >> i think if you call these things gun control measures, a term that the nra has successfully tainted and not supported by the average american public, if you remove that vagueness and -- i mean, i work on gun control every day, and i don't know what you mean when you say do you support gun control? when you break these issues down to specifics like should we do background checks on all gun sales, should we sell 100 round
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drum that is can be attached to different types of guns, should we sell military style assault weapons? should we have a federal gun trafficking statute? when you break them into specifics, you have like 90% of americans support in case of background checks. even over 70% of nra members themselves support the background checks when you come at it specifically. to the extent we can no longer have this conversation in vague pro-second amendment, pro gun control things that don't really mean anything, but actually talk about specifics, we'll get the support that's needed see this become law. >> yeah. we just showed a full screen of the fact that 92% of the country, i don't think there's 92% of anything other than, like, extra long weekends. 92% of the country supports universal background check. colin, because you are involved on the federal side here and you know what's happening on the hill, there are six red state democrats who are up for re-election in 2014. max baucus, mark, kay hagen, mary landrieu, and mark pryor. to what extent are you talking to them about specific measures
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in trying to get them to really stand up for some of the safety measures? >> we just had several families who lost loved ones in newtown, connecticut, down here on capitol hill yesterday, and we took them around to every one of the offices you mentioned to meet with the members of time possible, if not with all of their stats, to talk about -- to put a human face to this, to no longer make it about statistics or data, which we do have, but to put a real human face, to understand the realities of this decision making process and what the implications are if certain votes go certain ways. this is a really life or death issue. you know, we want to take the voice of the american people and close that gap between what our elected officials are doing for us and we basically have to fundamentally change that paradigm and we're seeing it change now that they can make a vote for our public safety. they can make a vote on sensible gun policy, and we'll support them. they know that we care about this. >> i think that's a really important point. the specificity and the human face. once it's not just the sort of -- these vague notion bz what
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we need to do to -- it becomes the father of a victim and it's asking someone when they support background checks. it's virtually impossible to either ignore or say no to that. >> exactly. that's what we're doing. >> thank you to colin goddard for showing me the light and making me less of a pessimist about gun safety reform. the brady campaign's colin goddard, always great to have you. >> thanks, alex. who needs more? chris christie or cpac? who needs it more? i don't know what that's supposed to mean. we'll discuss christie's response on being left and grand old problems just ahead. this is america. we don't let frequent heartburn come between us and what we love. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. and don't get heartburn in the first place! dad: you excited for youyeah.st day? ♪
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zi didn't know that i hadn't been invited cpac until two days ago when i saw it in the news. so, yeah, apparently i haven't been invited. listen, i wish them all the best. they get to decide who they want to have come and not come. it's not like i'm lacking for invitations to speak both here and around the country. i can't sweat the small stuff. i have a state to rebuild. i can't sweat the small tough. >> _#, real talk. that was new jersey governor chris christie's response to being snubbed by cpac and denied an invitation to next month's confab. could the gop's love affair with the tough-talking governor be over?
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karen, i feel like this actually might be the best thing to happen to chris christie in a little while. i mean, he seems to be no worse for wear. >> absolutely. i think if he plays into this idea of i'm doing what i think is right for my -- the people in my state, people will actually respond to that. most politicians don't actually believe that. they think they have to tell you what you want to hear, but actually people will respect you. they may not agree with you, but they'll respect it, and he is strong enough personality to carry it off. >> you know, richard, there's amazing sort of blowback. cpac is now on everybody's bad list. there's another word for it, but it's a family program. david frum writing on wedges, "christie's exclusion sounds an ominous warning about obstacles on the route back to a republican jart. i think this is a vast overreaction, and steve schmidt with the line of the year. the cpac convention is increasingly the star wars bar scene of the conservative movement. >> it was always something of a freak show. even going back some years, the
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speakers would generally try and outdo each other in how extreme they could be. that's been the path for a long time. from chrissisty's point of view, if you compare to where governor bush was in 1999, he had to kind of pick a fight with tom delay and newt gingrich and say i'm a different kind of republican. >> right. >> chris christie is in the luxurious position where he doesn't have to say it. they're telling him you're a different kind of republican. >> exactly. >> perfect. >> well, and also, i mean, doesn't it, josh, just make cpac look incredibly petty because the reasoning here is you linked arms with president obama when your state was under water and also you vilified house republicans by not passing a sandy aid relief bill and expanded the medicaid rolls so that 3,000 people will n your state will have coverage in the next ten years. >> it's one of the many ironies folded in here. this is a party that's supposed to be searching for the way forward. there's two parties. sarah palin and mitt romney, and they have disinvited chris christie. not necessarily doing a whole lot to help their party, but i
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think christie, to his credit, treated this with humor and could even say he was the bigger man. >> nice. >> no, we're not going there. we're not going there. you said that. i didn't. >> he is not going to be tarnisheded. i think his prospects are probably on proof with the nonright wing sliver. >> it gives him a chance to be ultra-christie, which is to say, i'm doing what i have to do. i have a state to rebuild. >> the only better thing would be if he was invited and turned it down. if he had to go, he would have to mend fences. it's an absolutely great outcome for him. >> i just think cpac was given the game show equivalent of choosing the washing machine or the porsche, and they went with palin instead of christie, and the doors were open. they could see what they were bidding on. it doesn't make any sense to me. cpac, do what you got to do. thank you to rick, karen, richard, and josh. that's all for now.
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i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon when i'm joined by chris hayes, nia malika herpd son, and ben smith. until then, you can find us at facebook.com/now with alex. andrea mitchell reports is next. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier.
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